Kentucky football beats Vanderbilt 34-17: Scores, live updates and highlights

·6 min read

A month feels like a long time ago for Kentucky football. Back then, UK was 6-0 for the first time since 1950, ranked No. 11 in the country and gearing up for a College GameDay matchup at No. 1 Georgia.

Since then, the Wildcats have lost to UGA — which was more or less expected — and then at Mississippi State and at home against Tennessee for a three-game losing streak.

UK (6-3, 4-3 in the SEC) is now looking to get a win for the first time since Oct. 9 as it visits Vanderbilt (2-7, 0-5). The Wildcats are 21.5-point favorites over the Commodores, which have not won a conference game in more than two years.

Updates on the game can be found below.

UK - Vandy: How to watch or stream Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt football: Kickoff time, TV channel

10:12 p.m. - Kentucky defeats Vanderbilt to improve to 7-3

UK dominated the first half, but were actually outscored in the second half by Vanderbilt. The Wildcats' backups were not able to get extensive reps as the Commodores scored two second-half touchdowns to keep it relatively competitive.

With the win, UK improves to 7-3 with two games remaining: New Mexico State and Louisville.

9:47 p.m. - Vanderbilt scores again, 2-point conversion fails

After a 32-yard field goal from UK's Ruffolo, Vanderbilt put together another long touchdown drive to cut the score to 34-17 with 7:33 in regulation. The Commodores went for 2, but came up short.

The second half hasn't been quite as effortless as the Wildcats may have hoped, but they still appear to be in the driving minut

9:19 p.m. - Vanderbilt scores its first touchdown

After a UK punt, Vanderbilt marched 72 yards for a touchdown, capped by an 8-yard pass on a 4th-and-goal look. The Commodores then curiously went for a 2-point conversion, converting it. UK's lead is now 31-11 late in the third quarter.

8:35 p.m. - Kentucky leads 31-3 at halftime

The question now becomes how much UK coach Mark Stoops plays his starters in the second half, barring an unforeseen comeback from Vanderbilt. UK will receive the second half kickoff.

The Wildcats weren't able to score to close the first half, as Will Levis tossed a Hail Mary from midfield on the last play of the second quarter, which was intercepted by Vanderbilt.

UK outgained Vanderbilt 278-105 in the first half.

8:22 p.m. - Wildcats add a field goal to make it 31-3

UK drove down the field and a took a couple shots at the end zone, including one to Rahsaan Lewis, the son of Ray Lewis, but eventually settled for a 25-yard field goal from Matt Ruffolo.

8:04 p.m. - Chris Rodriguez scores to make it 28-3

If it wasn't a blowout before, it's getting there now. UK running back Chris Rodriguez entered the game approaching 1,000 yards on the season and he got even closer on UK's most recent drive, punctuating it with a 5-yard touchdown run.

The Wildcats are now up 28-3 with 10:43 left in the second quarter. UK has still yet to face a third down and is averaging 12.1 yards per play.

7:52 p.m. - Jalen Geiger scores on a 31-yard interception return

It was supposed to be a one-sided affair, but not this one-sided. UK now leads 21-3 with 13:09 left in the second quarter as Jalen Geiger, starting his first career game, intercepted a pass that floated to the flat and then easily converted the pick-six.

It was the first interception of the sophomore's career.

7:44 p.m. - Izayah Cummings snags touchdown

Will Levis threw his second touchdown pass of the game, this time to former Male star Izayah Cummings, who reeled in the 22-yard touchdown despite a defensive pass interference call. The Wildcats now lead 14-3 with 14:48 left in the second quarter.

Cummings boxed out the Vanderbilt defensive back and pulled in the pass in the back of the end zone. It's the third score of the year for Cummings, who switched from wide receiver to tight end before the season.

UK: How Male alum Izayah Cummings offered silver lining in Kentucky football losing streak

7:39 p.m. - Wildcats lead 7-3 after the first quarter

Vanderbilt made a 48-yard field goal to get on the board near the end of the first quarter, but UK is responding with another drive of its own. Will Levis found Wan'Dale Robinson downfield for a 39-yard completion just before the quarter ended.

UK has run 12 plays but has yet to face a third down.

7:19 p.m. - Wan'Dale Robinson reels in a touchdown

Moments after ESPN2 switched from the Texas Tech vs. Iowa State game (which Tech won on a walk-off 62-yard field goal), Robinson grabbed a touchdown pass from Levis to give Kentucky a 7-0 advantage over Vanderbilt with 6:07 remaining in the first quarter.

UK forced a punt and then marched 85 yards for the score.

7:05 p.m. - kickoff in Nashville

On the UK Radio Network, Tom Leach said that although Marquan McCall is likely to play some, he won't start. McCall has missed most of the past five games but returned to practice this week.

Leach also said that Vito Tisdale and Jalen Geiger would start in the secondary.

On the opening drive, UK forced a punt. The game is scheduled to air on ESPN2, following the conclusion of the Texas Tech vs. Iowa State game.

What bowl game might the Wildcats play in?

The three-game losing streak has likely knocked UK out of contention for a New Years Six bowl game, but there are still a medley of possibilities for the Wildcats.

The Outback Bowl and the Music City Bowl are among the potential landing spots.

Read more about UK's bowl likelihoods here.

Former Male star blossoming with Wildcats

Izayah Cummings, a standout receiver at Male, switched to tight end this season and has proven to be a key part of the Wildcat offense as a sophomore. He snagged a 28-year reception on a 4th-and-24 look last week, momentarily keeping UK's hopes alive before falling 45-42 to Tennessee.

He's caught two touchdowns this season.

“Talk about a guy that’s just taken on a role and just done everything right at all times," offensive coordinator Liam Coen said. "Battled through an injury recently. To get him back involved was the goal and the plan. I’m so proud of him.”

Read more about Cummings here.

Hayes Gardner can be reached at; Twitter: @HayesGardner.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt football: Score, live updates and highlights

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